DATE:         June 20, 2001

TO:              Board of Adjustment

FROM:       Oscar Graham, Planner
                     Community Development Department

FILE NO.:  VAR2001-00015

PROPOSAL: Reduction of parking from 150 to 100


GENERAL INFORMATION

Applicant:                     Jensen Yorba Lott, Inc 

Property Owner:          Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium

Property Address:       Salmon Creek Lane

Legal Description:       Salmon Falls, Lot 6A

Parcel Code Number: 7-B09-0-104-008-3

Site Size:                     101,808 square feet

Zoning:                        GC – General Commercial

Utilities:                       CBJ Water & Sewer 

Access:                       Salmon Creek Lane

Existing Land Use:      Vacant

Surrounding Land Use: North - Road/Salmon Creek Riparian Corridor
                                    South - Vacant
                                    East - Vacant
                                    West - Salmon Creek Lane & Existing SEARHC Facilities


PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The applicant has requested an allowable use permit for the development a new 32,200 square foot medical clinic in the General Commercial Zone. A variance from the applicable parking standards is being requested in conjunction with the proposal. If approved the variance would authorize a reduction in the number of required parking spaces from 150 to 100.


BACKGROUND

The SEARHC medical facility is proposed for location on an irregularly shaped, partially cleared bench of land which slopes to the north, south and west. An existing access easement/road partially encircles the site.

The applicant has requested the reduction in parking spaces based on the minimum space and dimensional standards for parking and offloading established under Section §49.40.210 as summarized in the following table:

Use in square feet

Spaces required per square ft.

Required spaces

Clinic (17,200)

1 space per 150

115

Offices* (8,600)

1 space per 300

29

Warehouse (6,400)

1 space per 1000

6

*not providing customer service

While each of the uses addressed above are located within a single building, the applicant has indicated that they are separate and distinct components of the proposal. Therefore the variance request is based, in part, upon the mixed occupancy provision set forth under Section §49.40.200 (2) as follows:

Mixed Occupancy. In the case of two or more uses on the same lot the total requirement for off street parking facilities shall be the sum of the several uses computed separately.

The sum of the spaces required for the three uses computed separately is 150 spaces. The proposed reduction of parking spaces to 100 is predicated on the number of employees required to staff the facility, estimated daily patient appointments and the use of public transportation. The applicant has prepared an analysis in support of the variance request which is attached to this staff report.

In order to comply with zoning setback requirements and provide an adequate area for structural development of clinic, office and storage facilities the applicant has attempted to assess the actual number of parking spaces needed for the proposal. The analysis attached to this staff report indicates that the uses established in conjunction with the proposal will require the following number of spaces:

Clinic (employees)------- 45 spaces
Office (employees)-------23 spaces
Storage (employees)------ 0 spaces
Clinic (patients)-----------31 spaces
Total---------------------99 spaces


ANALYSIS

Variance Requirements

Under CBJ §49.20.250 where hardship and practical difficulties result from an extraordinary situation or unique physical feature affecting only a specific parcel of property or structures lawfully existing thereon and render it difficult to carry out the provisions of Title 49, the Board of Adjustment may grant a variance in harmony with the general purpose and intent of Title 49. A variance may vary any requirement or regulation of Title 49 concerning dimensional and other design standards, but not those concerning the use of land or structures, housing density, lot coverage, or those establishing construction standards. A variance may be granted after the prescribed hearing and after the Board of Adjustment has determined:

1. That the relaxation applied for or a lesser relaxation specified by the Board of Adjustment would give substantial relief to the owner of the property involved and be more consistent with justice to other property owners.

A relaxation of the standard parking space requirement would provide relief from topographic variations of the site and allow construction of the facility on top of the existing bench. In addition the proposed design would allow the structure to be built in compliance with zoning setbacks and not encroach upon the roadway which may be improved to City standards in the future. By maintaining setbacks an adequate right of way can be reserved for a future dedicated road providing access to adjacent properties to the north. This criterion is met.

2. That relief can be granted in such a fashion that the intent of this title will be observed and the public safety and welfare be preserved.

The intent of Title 49 is found in Section 49.05.100. This section describes the intent of the title including; to ensure that future growth and development in the city and borough is in accord with the values of its residents, to identify and secure, for present and future residents, the beneficial impacts of growth while minimizing the negative impacts and to provide open space for light and air. Title 49 considers the values of the resident both current and future. The land use code allows for the consideration of parking requirements based on a mixed occupancy approach and for reduction in parking space requirements through satisfaction of the variance criteria. This criterion is met.

The applicant’s analysis indicates that the intent of the title will be met through the provision of adequate off street parking based on anticipated use. This criterion is met

3. That the authorization of the variance will not injure nearby property.

Nearby properties would not appear to be adversely impacted by granting the variance. Parking for the proposed facility will be provided for on site. In addition the existing SEARHC parking facilities located west of the subject property may accommodate short term peaks in parking. This criterion is met.

4. That the variance does not authorize uses not allowed in the district involved.

The granting of the requested variance would not authorize a use not allowed in the General Commercial zoning district. The Table of Permissible Uses (49.25.300.7100) provides for hospitals, clinics and treatment facilities in excess of 5000 square feet through the issuance of an Allowable Use Permit. The proposed use is also a complimentary development in this area, which is the hub for medical services for the community of Juneau. This criterion is met.

5. That compliance with the existing standards would:

    1. Unreasonably prevent the owner from using the property for a permissible principal use;
    2. Although compliance with the parking standard would not unreasonably prevent the owner from using the property for a permissible principal use, it is not possible to provide the required number of parking spaces along with a building which provides adequate space for the proposed use. It is important that the new clinic be located in close proximity to the existing SEARHC buildings and other medical services provided in the vicinity. Nevertheless other principle uses could be pursued for the subject property which would enable compliance with the parking standards. This sub-criterion is not met.

    3. Unreasonably prevent the owner from using the property in a manner which is consistent as to scale, amenities, appearance or features, with existing development in the neighborhood of the subject property;

The proposed use of the property is consistent with adjacent land uses. The proposed SEARHC facility is generally consistent with the scale, amenities and appearance of existing development in the neighborhood of the subject property. This sub-criterion is met.

(C)     Be unnecessarily burdensome because unique physical features of the property render   compliance with the standards unreasonably expensive;

The subject property does exhibit an irregular shape, topographic variation and an access easement, which contribute to the difficulty in complying with the parking standard. Based on the analysis provided by the applicant compliance with the standard does appear to be unreasonably expensive and unnecessary. This sub-criterion is met.

or

(D) Because of preexisting nonconforming conditions on the subject parcel the grant of the variance would not result in a net decrease in overall compliance with the Land Use Code, CBJ Title 49, or the building code, CBJ Title 19, or both.

There are no preexisting nonconforming conditions on the subject property. This sub-criterion is not applicable to the proposal.
Criteria 5 is satisfied because sub-criterion (B) and (C) are met.

6. That a grant of the variance would result in more benefits than detriments to the neighborhood.

A grant of the variance would result in more benefits than detriments in that the proposed facility could be constructed consistent with the space needed for clinic related activities. The proposal may improve the delivery of medical services to the community while being located in a vicinity which compliments existing medical related facilities.


JUNEAU COASTAL MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

The JCMP was reviewed relative to the variance request. It was found that no enforceable policies of the JCMP apply to the project as result of granting the variance requested.


FINDINGS

CBJ §49.70.900 (b)(3), Board of Adjustment Action, states that the Board of Adjustment shall hear all variance requests and shall either approve, conditionally approve, modify or deny the request based on CBJ §49.50.250.

Under CBJ §49.20.220, Scheduling and Fee, the director makes the following determination:

  1. Is the application for the requested variance complete?
  2. Yes. The application contains the information necessary to conduct a full review of the proposal. The application submitted by the applicant, including appropriate fees, substantially conforms to the requirements of CBJ code §49.15. Additionally notice was provided in the Juneau Empire under Your Municipality which ran on June 15, 2001. Notice was mailed to owners of record of all property within 500 feet of the subject property.

  3. Will the proposed development comply with the Juneau Coastal Management Program?
  4. Not Applicable. The JCMP was reviewed relative to the variance request. It was found that no enforceable policies of the JCMP apply to the project as result of granting the variance requested.

  5. Does the variance as requested, meet the criteria of Section §49.20.250, Grounds for Variances?

        Yes. The requested variance meets the six criteria as contained in Section §49.20.250, Grounds for Variances.


RECOMMENDATION

It is recommended that the Board of Adjustment adopt the director’s findings and staff analysis which concludes that the grounds for variances, as identified above, are met and therefore the variance be granted subject to the following condition.

  1. Prior to issuance of a building permit the applicant shall provide, to the building department, a revised parking plan depicting 5 accessible spaces with aisles adjacent, 1 of which will be van-accessible. The van-accessible space shall include an aisle width of at least 8 feet and other aisle 8 feet or 5 feet pursuant to Section §49.40.210 of the CBJ Code. Passenger unload zones shall be designed in accordance with Section 503 of American National Standard Institute (ANSI) as adopted under Title 19 of the CBJ Code.